Difficult to check Corona claims for students of journalism

EUfactcheck takes another course during the corona crisis because we want to safeguard the journalistic and methodological quality of the published fact checks.
Times are strange and unpredictable now, with governmental regulations straining the work of journalists, with media dealing with changing truths from one hour to the next, with the undefeatable speed of social media countering false claims and statements, with difficulties for students of journalism to contact experts.
The educational core of our project (we’re not a 24/7 fact-checking site) and the intensive coaching of our students are also influenced by the closure of universities all over Europe and restrictions on information.
That’s why we’ve asked our journalism students not to focus specifically on debunking claims on corona. These will mainly turn out to be uncheckable anyway or have already been checked by other fact checkers. We did ask our students to publish blog posts about the media approaches and to monitor how journalism is handling this changed reality in Europe and beyond. If the circumstances allow it, our students can choose to check news on corona.
We will keep you informed with reliable and fact based information.

Latest fact-checks

True: Younger UK-citizens favour EU membership whilst the older do not

How did the UK end up in the confusing mess that is Brexit and who decided that they should take this road? On January 9, The British newspaper The Independent claimed in their article Brexit: Don’t settle for ‘isolation’, EU president tells Britain’s youth covering EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to London…

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True: Hungarian constitution includes jailing homeless people

Pastor Gábor Iványi, rival of the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, has published a text the “Advent Statement” in which he denounces Orban’s policy. In an interview, he criticizes this “Christian country” for having a constitution in which one can be put in prison for being homeless. He is right. In the Guardian article «…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: EU requires member states to ban cats from roaming outside

A claim that to many may sound absurd and disturbing spread across the Dutch media-landscape in November 2019. According to EU environmental laws domestic cats should be banned from roaming outside since they are a danger to wildlife. This was originally claimed by two law-researchers of the university of Tilburg in an article in the…

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Mostly true: “90% of income support in Milan is destined to immigrants”

The 18th of December 2019, the European parliamentarian Silvia Sardone, belonging to the far-right group named “Identity and Democracy”, published a statement on her official Facebook page, openly attacking the Municipality of Milan, which is currently guided by Democratic Party, main League rival, claiming that “90% of income support (in Milan) is destined to immigrants”.…

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fact-check uncheckable

Uncheckable: “One family of asylum seekers retroactively received more than 90.000 euros in child allowance”

The Belgian quality newspaper De Morgen published on 7 January 2020 an article with the title ‘One family of asylum seekers retroactively received more than 90,000 euros in child allowance’. In the article, Flemish Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke (CD&V) gives some numbers on the retroactive receipt of child allowance. Is the number correct and…

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Mostly true: “All the money from the Croatian governmental fund for development of local communities is allocated to the Church”

The Croatian online news outlet Telegram.hr published an article alleging that the Croatian Government allocates millions of HRK each year for the development of local communities and that predominantly it is the Catholic Church that wins the competition. The claim is highlighted in the title of the article, labelled as an ”exclusive“. Investigative journalist Andrej…

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True: “The Dutch pay the most for Euro 95 petrol in Europe”

Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf published on 7 January an article in which it stated that Euro 95 petrol in Europe is most expensive in the Netherlands. This news was written using research from consumer collective United Consumers. CLAIMIs Telegraaf correct by claiming that in the Netherlands you pay the highest amount of money for…

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True: “French coast guard intercepted two inflatable boats with illegal migrants”

The information that two inflatable boats with illegal migrants were intercepted by the French coast guard was published by the Russian socio-political, business newspaper Izvestia on October 4, 2019. According to the French Maritime Prefecture of the English Channel and the North Sea, a total of 31 people were brought ashore.

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Mostly true: “Because of climate change half of Europeans will be allergic to pollen”

A Croatian political platform called ‘We can!’ held a round table in December 2019 called “Are we all in the same boat?”. The main topic was climate change and its consequences. One of the guests was Mrs Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, meteorologist at the Croatian commercial TV channel RTL, interviewed by a Croatian online news outlet…

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True: “Annually 119.000 children are maltreated in the Netherlands”

Dutch broadcaster BNNVARA published an Instagram story stating that, in the Netherlands, every year 119.000 children are maltreated. The story was part of a special broadcast on child maltreatment in The Netherlands. Is the number correct and in the right context? The Instagram story and broadcast do not mention the source of the number of…

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Latest blog posts

Discrediting EU and EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia

EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), a civilian monitoring mission, which operates in Georgia since 2008, became the target of organized disinformation and discrediting campaign from Kremlin actors. The new wave of the disinformation launched after the occupational regime of South Ossetia detained EU monitors on the ground of “violation of the state border” on October 24.…

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European Journalism Training Association EJTA
Council of Europe
evens foundation
Group photo EUFACTCHECK 240119

About Us

EUFACTCHECK is the fact-checking project of the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) that intends to build a sustainable curriculum unit on fact-checking within a European network of Journalism schools.

Through fact-checking European political claims and trying to tackle misinformation, we want our students and our public to grow a deeper insight and interest in democratic processes, both on national and European level.

EUFACTCHECK wishes to motivate fact-based debate in the EU and to stimulate media and information literacy.

‘The Future Looks Bright!’

After the success of the students’ publications, the participants of EJTA’s fact-checking project EUFACTCHECK decided at the EJTA AGM in Paris (July 2019) to move on with the project and to take new steps in the academic year 2019-2020.

At the EJTA Teachers’ Conference in Dortmund (October 2019)  practical details were discussed and a new publication schedule was created for autumn 2019.

By January-February 2019 a manual with guidelines and tips & tricks will be published and on 13-14 February 2020 a second Bootcamp will be organised in Ljubljana, with financial help from the Evens Foundation. This Train the Trainer will be focussing on Central Eastern European countries, but also on new participants that want to publish on the platform.

All the information about this event: nadia.vissers@ap.be

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“What is this politician saying??” Did you read or hear a politician or public figure make a questionable claim? Send us an email with the claim and maybe we will fact-check it.

Please include the source (url and date) where you found the claim.

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